Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate reviewed on a PlayStation 5 with 4K 60Hz TV
Paying homage to Mortal Kombat as a series, I have replaced the alphabet “C” in places with the superior and appropriate one “K”. Ed Boon approves! Please also be advised that the screenshots in this review reflect the 18+ gore-infested theme of the game, user discretion is advised before we delve into MK 11 Ultimate review.
Netherealms & WB present the highly decorated and well-received Mortal Kombat 11 now with next-gen upgrades including a ton of Kontent and I do not say that lightly. MK 11 Ultimate is the ‘Komplete’ or Definitive Edition including a host of characters which would take me a paragraph to list but here is a link directly from WB for you to have a gander at.
As mentioned in my previous review, how 2020 has been a testing year but quite a fulfilling year for video games, once again I would like to Korrect the naysayers Komplaining about the lack of titles to play at launch. MK11 Ultimate is definitely the best way to enjoy one of the best fighting games’ appeal and technical performance-wise in the genre.
This review will focus on the additions of the new characters that were DLC Pack 1 & 2 plus the offline story mode expansion known as Aftermath which is also included in the Ultimate Edition. Buckle up folks, for we in for a time-travel ride both backward and forward, returning characters beloved from the older games, one of the most cinematic look story modes every conjured and Ed Boon’s signature violence spilling 10,000+ liters of blood while still keeping things interesting and exciting!
Days Of The Future Past MK 11 Style
The Ultimate Edition now contains two-story modes to choose from. Part 1 is the main campaign which comes with the base game and Part 2 Aftermath the continuation after which was recently released as a standalone taking place after the events of the story.
Although the Mortal Kombat Games have usually taken a similar premise of the Netherealm (Earth) being destroyed by a once in millennia fighting tournament and how the Elder Gods who are supposed to be ever powerful are always leaving it on Raiden (The God of Thunder) to muster Earth’s mightiest heroes in a Kombat, the story here in MK 11 is slightly different although on a similar trajectory.
The plot starts off with a new antagonist called Krokina the keeper of time and balance building a device to reset the timeline as the forces of evil and good should be balanced and she is not happy with the version that has come to be after Raidens past interjections.
Interestingly, and kudos to Netherealms, they finally found a way to reboot the series and merge all the events that have been taking over the past few titles. Although the Mortal Kombat games have an engaging plot it has become confusing with evil and good versions of your favorite characters such as Liu Kang to Kung Lao and more. MK11’s plot looks to change this and the story pushes for our heroes to stop Kronika so that they can merge the timelines and create one streamlined plot where the evil versions or revenants as called will cease to exist and the Nether realm can be saved.
The plot is interesting with the litany of characters we can play as and the main plot usually gives us a choice to play as protagonists. The story also pushes some series baddies to switch sides and work for the common good to stop Kronika from changing the way things are. Series baddies like Shao Kahn making a return work splendidly and really makes the interactions and fights engaging giving strength to the writing that MK11 has. I can easily recommend MK 11’s Plot as the best I have seen in the series for a long time
The “Aftermath” of MK 11
In a nice twist and literally taking inspiration from both Avenger’s Endgame & Back To The Future, Part 2 of the story introduces us to what happens after the ending of MK 11.
Once again our heroes are now joined by one of the most iconic baddies Shang Tsung who needs to go back in time and take Kronikat’s Crown to help our heroes. I am trying to keep it vague so as not to spoil both the ending of the main story and Aftermath, so please excuse me if it’s quite loosely explained.
Aftermath excels with the superb voice acting of Shang Tsung, the more involved role of Sindel, and the overall feel of experiencing the story from the antagonist’s point of the view halfway through the 3-hour campaign. It fits well into the story and although has endgame written on it due to the time travel, it’s done well enough to elicit a play and welcome addition to the MK games plot as things move into the future with so many more possibilities.
The Pursuit Of Cinematics
From the soft look of the in-game CGI to the quite accurate and Kommendable facial animation for the characters both in-game or not, MK 11 is like watching an animated movie with cutting edge visual throughout both the campaigns.
I absolutely love the look of the game and with almost no loading sequences in between and the super-fast SSD working magic on this PS5 version, the immersion is seamless. I actually had to pause the game when a fight sequence came on at times to have a quick look at my phone or do basic adulting, otherwise, the game and plot suck you in with its pseudo-realistic look.
The PS5 version looks a bit more polished and no hitches in terms of facial animation looking wonky or lips not synching but I did notice one thing which is also apparent in the PS4 version, as smooth and glossy as everything looks when zoomed in during cinematics certain areas like puddles or materials on the floor look a bit outdated with not much detail to them.
This by no means is a complaint but shows that the developers have worked tirelessly to create an overall beautiful looking game with at times striking detail when fighting but there’s more that can be done using the newer technology in the coming series.
Fighter Galore: Kolossal Khaos
No other fighting game can boast such a strong line up of Karachters as do the Mortal Kombat games. MK 11 Ultimate adds 13 odd characters to bring the roster to 37 including Shao Kahn, Shang Tsung, Nightwolf, Terminator, Sindel, The Joker, Spawn, Fujin, Sheeva, RoboCop, and newly added Mileena, Rain, Rambo.
Phew, that’s a lot and each one is fine-tuned not to only work on their own, but the interaction with other characters who they might have a relationship with either positive or negative, and then the reactions to being hit by fatality changing up close is just magic only NetherRealms so effortlessly delivery!
When people wonder why the Mortal Kombat community is so passionate and their games sell even when released annually (at times) it because of the content, it keeps staying relevant bringing older and newer characters, bringing Pop culture characters which fight perfectly with the existing pack, the voice acting like for Rambo & Shang Tsung is standout and applaud worthy, so accurate that you sit back at the conniving Shang Tsung gleeing happily at the sorcerer, especially if you grew up with the Mortal Kombat Live action movie and its titular dialogue “Your Soul Is Mine”.
Is The Gore Still Satisfying?
From the sound of crackling bones in every part of the exoskeleton to the sight of a spine in slow motion being pulled apart by a kick to the Gonads, using some voodoo or Professor X (Power Puff Girls reference) magic, I can still say after over 2 decades of Mortal Kombat games, yes the gore is more fantastic than ever and yes it is still very much relevant to the series!
MK11 brings even more outlandish Fatalities to Brutalities that at times, leave you grimacing and for series veterans just wonder if your non-3D TV has blood particles jumping out!
The violence, the barbarity, the savagery is ever pleasant and although those words are often used to describe a positive notion, in the world of Mortal Kombat games its a necessity that keeps on improving and now an endorphin kick to Gamer’s grey matter, wanting more and Ed Boon keeps on delivering!
Will New Player’s Enjoy MK 11 Ultimate?
After looking at the plot and the need to reset things to bring more linearity storywise to the robust and detailed tutorial (which can be daunting at times), we can clearly see this is a perfect move towards restarting the series and most importantly, introducing it to new players.
The ending plot for both the campaigns brings a fresh take which should appeal to all and the tutorial from frame data detail to basic kombo’s to punish moves will be appealing for a new starter as well. As has been the case with a lot of games that are well into their sequels, MK 11 has already achieved a lot of love for making it more accessible and probably the most popular fighting game with the slickest UI to animated and lifelike arenas.
MK 11 Ultimate is an exemplary Mortal Kombat game to play, whether from a storytelling aspect to the sheer gameplay modes and characters you can play as.
From jumping through dimensions to streamlining the story to unify the whole series, this is a nex-gen game which comes as a free upgrade to owners on last-gen and the best overall Mortal Kombat game to have ever been made.
Fighting Games in general offer replayability through online modes only but with the way Koins and Kurrency are awarded by playing Towers to the Krypt, MK11 is truly a game you can invest tons of hours into, it’s a mammoth of a game.